Happy Birthday, Old Fruit1 Jun 2021Happy Birthday, Old Fruit I've talked about Lemonrock before, as it grew older, and more mature. I've likened Lemonrock to a growing teenager, and I've joked about it leaving home, getting a job and becoming independent.Well, Lemonrock has now definitely grown up. It is 21 years old today.Some perspective:World Wide Web: created 1989Lemonrock: created 2000Facebook: created 2004Twitter: created 2006Instagram: created 2010So, Lemonrock has come of age. Over half a million gigs posted, thousands of bands and venues posting their own gigs, and millions of happy customers finding out about local live music, all through Lemonrock Gig Guide.We know that these are still difficult times, but, if you have a spare party hat, sparkler, or old bottle of Prosecco lying about, please join me, my editorial team, and my many treasured friends, musical and non-musical, in a quiet toast to the best live music gig guide in the land.Cheers, everyone.Mac xx I remember when the 'rock was youngMe and Suzie had so much funHolding hands and pinging phonesHad a load of Bevvies, and a place of our own (each)But the biggest kick I ever gotWas doing a thing called the Lemonrock RockWhile the other kids were sniffing round the clockWe were hopping and bopping to the Lemonrock RockWell, Lemon rocking is something shockingWhen your feet just can't keep stillI never knew me a better time and I guess I never willOh, lordy mama, those Friday (and Saturday, and Bank Holiday, and occasionally Wednesday) nightsWhen Suzie wore her dresses rightAnd the Lemonrock rocking was out of sight
Flying High30 May 2021Flying High It's Birdy again. She has taken over my musical brain. As I sleep, her melodies scuff and tumble. When I awake, her songs are dancing and reciting in my head. There is no escape.I can't work out exactly how she achieves this mental takeover.When I listen carefully, I am starting to realise that she has music at her beck and call. She flexes music into patterns to suit her, and she creates soundscapes as if music were a palette of watercolours or oils. She is not afraid of anything. When is the last time that you went to an art gallery and thought: "Wow, this artist has grasped his/her tools with mastery and confidence and zeal, and I am surprised and delighted at the results"?Music progresses in fits and starts; some innovate, others follow. Birdy belongs to a special class of songwriter, and I hope that she'll be mentioned in the same breath as Dylan, McCartney, Lennon, Bowie, Nilsson, Gibb, Lynne or Bush.Thank you, Birdy. You are stunning.Mac, Music Manhttps://www.officialbirdy.com/https://www.nme.com/reviews/album/birdy-young-heart-review-2928147https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Young-Heart-Birdy/dp/B08SNKSKFK
Dreamer, You Know You Are a Dreamer27 May 2021Dreamer, You Know You Are a Dreamer Is it just me?Two things happened recently, on the same day, and I was definitely more bewildered at the end of that day than I had been at the beginning of that same day.First thing: I went to M & S to buy some food (actually, it was mainly beer). At the checkout, M & S have installed these new display cabinets. Each cabinet was made of plastic, plugged in to the mains electricity, and bore the big health message: "You are 60% water. Make sure you are topped up" (I paraphrase, for I was in shock.) Each cabinet contained a hundred plastic bottles, each full of chilled water, each bottle transported over God knows how many motorway miles, each bottle made from plastic which may end up buried in a Greek field.Later, I recounted my experience to a friend, and I surprised myself about how angry I was.Second thing: I went to a Greenpeace thing. It was to draw our attention to many Bad Things happening in the world, and how we can all do our bit. I have no problem with this. We most certainly can do more, every one of us. Not leaving the tap running; walking instead of driving; eating less meat. Great, all good ideas. And then, some woman comes round with a big box of newly printed booklets and asks if we would like one. Freshly made, from trees and ink. One of my friends waved her away in a friendly manner, and said "No thanks, I've downloaded it on PDF". I, on the other hand, was bereft of words, and managed only to say "No, sorry, I can't". If she had stayed to ask me why, I may well have said "Because it seems deeply ironic to me that you have decided to create yet more printed matter from arguably unsustainable resources to spread the message to us about sustainability. Why didn't you just ask us to go to your website?"Perhaps I need to go somewhere and detox.Mac, recyclable editorImage: recycled Supertramp single
My Little Runaway21 May 2021My Little Runaway Have you ever had a conversation where someone said to you: "Oh no. How awful for you"?I have. Actually, I've had a few. And, as someone who likes to make other people laugh - even at my own expense - I have decided to share some hugely embarrassing moments with you, when I have wished that the ground below would have swallowed me whole. Because you understand. Because you're you: you love to laugh at stupid things, performed by the editor of a national UK gig guide. And because, during these awful COVID lockdowns, we have realised that we are all human and vulnerable, and that laughter is more important than ever.1. VAT, what VAT?- At the age of 19, I had responsibility as the Supplies Officer for the Audio Society at Durham University. After realising that we had been selling TDK cassettes at a loss, I resigned, and ran away.2. Testing, 1-2-3- Whilst at Durham, I took on the role of Soundman at our college for a visiting band's gig. "Everything OK, Mac?" asked the promoter (several times), concerned that the sound of the band wasn't quite right. "Yes", I said. (I know, I know, I should have asked more questions.) Anyway, that was my last job as a Soundman. The sound was awful, and I was the person who made that happen. I had no idea what I was doing. Amps, knobs, faders... nope, sorry.3. Quitting your secure job- Snow, winter, and I was sporting a terrible first beard. Very fed up with my first real-world job; financially secure, but unfulfilling. A hand-written CV (no home computers then) impressed the owners of a hi-fi shop in Islington, who offered me a salesman job. I ran away. 18 months later, I quit my 'secure' job to become a lecturer in electronics, at a lower salary.4. Rejecting an amazing new job- Once, I went to an interview, and I did really badly; I didn't know very much. But they liked me and offered me £3,000 more than my current job, doing something I didn't understand. I had no confidence, and I ran away.5. Being different- I'm aware that we've just had Mental Health Awareness Week. At the age of 6, I was the new kid in town. With a different accent, I became the subject of bullying, for many years. Yes, I sort of ran away, but I am now willing to run back right now and slay certain offenders, verbally or otherwise. Don't be embarrassed if you are still angry after 20, 30 or 40 years, because other people were mean to you. Message for today: Please Be Kind To People Who Are Different.Your loving editor, Mac
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